Austrian composer and conductor Gustav Mahler was born on 7 July 1860 in Kalischt, Bohemia, and grew up in Iglau, discovering his grandparents' piano at the age of four, and performing in public at the age of ten. He studied piano at the Vienna Conservatoire with Julius Epstein, concentrating on harmony and composition with Robert Fuchs and Franz Krenn in his final year.
Influences include Bruckner, Wagner and German philosophy.
He earned his living primarily as a conductor, culminating in a few years at New York Metropolitan Opera, with composition a part-time activity. His symphonies received very mixed press.
Mahler died in Vienna on 18 May 1911, leaving an incomplete tenth symphony.
A selection of M&V articles about Gustav Mahler
Ensemble. Maximum Expressive Contrast - Henning Kraggerud and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra with Stéphane Denève, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Eagerly Awaited - Opening night at Severance Hall, by Suzanne Torrey
CD Spotlight. Greatest of Pleasure - Tchaikovsky and Mahler from Goldstone and Haitink, heard by Bill Newman. '... moving in the extreme.'
Ensemble. Deeply Moving - Handel, Elgar and Mahler, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Glorious Music - Mahler's Third Symphony opens the Cleveland Orchestra's 94th season, reviewed by Suzanne Torrey
CD Spotlight. Tempting Fate - Songs by Sibelius, Brahms, Schubert and Mahler, heard by Robert Anderson. '... ripe understanding ...'
Ensemble. Powerfully Involving - Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Dubious Tampering - Chamber arrangements of Mahler and Debussy, heard by Howard Smith. '... a highly skilled, finely rehearsed unit.'
CD Spotlight. Communicative Benediction - Hermine Haselböck sings Mahler lieder, recommended by Howard Smith. '... on a par with legendary German mezzo Christa Ludwig ...'
Ensemble. A Tragic Programme - Tom Taffinder reports from Welsh National Opera
Ensemble. Faust versus Faust - Two concerts conducted by Antonio Pappano, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Wonderful Playing - Christoph Eschenbach and the Vienna Philharmonic visit Brisbane, reviewed by Gillian Wills
Ensemble. A Double Experiment - Avant-garde and late romanticism at La Sagra Malatestiana, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Exciting Teamwork - Roderic Dunnett was in Worcester for the 2011 Three Choirs Festival
Ensemble. A Real Triumph - The 2011 Sferisterio Festival, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Formidable Hurdles - Music by George Rochberg, heard by Howard Smith. '... an eloquent performance, effectively recorded.'
CD Spotlight. Compelling and Pleasurable - Arthur Friedheim plays Liszt, Chopin, Gottschalk and Henselt, heard by Patric Standford. '... a slightly improvisatory interpretation ...'
Ensemble. Towards a Better World - Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra are currently on a world tour. Giuseppe Pennisi listens to their concert in Rome
Profile. Humanizing Emotions - American conductor James Conlon talks to Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Delightfully Engaging - Alison Balsom plays Hummel's Trumpet Concerto, heard by Mike Wheeler
Mahler versus Mahler - Two symphony orchestras are playing Mahler in Rome, by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ask Alice - Technology and music, plus Elgar in Lowestoft, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. Deeply Expressive - Mahler, Weber and Strauss at Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
DVD Spotlight. Ho hum! - Vidor Nagy plays Bach and Paganini, reviewed by Howard Smith. '... moments of splendour.'
Timings - Breaking Moulds: 1910, by Jennifer Paull
Ensemble. Unique and Moving - Mahler's Fifth Symphony - a self-metamorphosis from grief to ecstatic energy, by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Well Worth Exploration - Orchestral music by Lodewijk Mortelmans, heard by Robert Anderson. 'The performances ... are a delight ...'
A Golden Treasury - Havergal Brian on European and American music, read by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Ingeniously Crafted - Orchestral music by Donald Tovey, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. '... the Malmö Opera Orchestra plays handsomely for George Vass.'
Heroes Step Up in Crisis - The Muti era lays claim to Chicago, by Barbara Sealock
Ensemble. An Ecstatic Success - Giuseppe Pennisi visits the Sagra Musicale Malatestiana
CD Spotlight. Powerful and Concise - Blomstedt conducts Richard Strauss, heard by Robert Anderson. '... a composer of infinite promise ...'
Ensemble. Top Class Musicianship - Roderic Dunnett visits Gloucester for the 2010 Three Choirs Festival
Ensemble. Performance to Cherish - Lawrence Budmen submits a further report from the Tanglewood Festival 2010
Masks - Jennifer Paull continues her investigation of musical and theatrical masks
Masks - Jennifer Paull investigates a layering of musical and theatrical masks, with the omnipresent eerie reminder of the gas mask
Ensemble. Awakening of Nature - Mahler's Third Symphony, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Mahler versus Mahler - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Ensemble. Under the Tuscan Sun - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the beginning of the Tiroler Festspiele 2010
Ensemble. A Top-notch Formation - Operas by Zemlinsky and Puccini, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. A World-class Orchestra - Mike Wheeler listens to the Bergen Philharmonic
Ensemble. The Devil and the Bourgeoisie - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Arrigo Boito's 'Mefistofele'
Ensemble. Wilfully Distorted - Petrenko conducts the RLPO, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. High Voltage - Sol Gabetta joins Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Shattering Conviction - Mike Wheeler listens to Markus Stenz and the Hallé in music by Colin Matthews and Mahler
Ensemble. A Class Of Its Own - Lawrence Budmen listens to the Cleveland Orchestra
CD Spotlight. Transcendent Resignation - Mahler's Ninth Symphony, heard by David Wilkins. '... played with love and knowledge and commitment ...'
Ensemble. A Double Farewell - Henze and Mahler in Rome, reported by Giuseppe Pennisi
CD Spotlight. Invigoratingly Natural - Van Beinum conducts Mahler, recommended by Howard Smith. '... a tad less frenetic ...'
Ensemble. Thoughtfully Conceived - James Judd conducts Handel's 'Messiah', reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ask Alice - The most beautiful sound in the world, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. A Sparkling Concert - Sabbath music from the Zemel Choir, enjoyed by Malcolm Miller
Ensemble. A Cogent Argument - Mike Wheeler listens to Stephen Johnson and the BBC Philharmonic
Timings - Universal Edition's preparations for the Mahler Centenary years (2010-2011), by Jennifer Paull
Bizarre Perception - Alistair Hinton discusses a recent article on English music by David Hamilton
Ensemble. Sing ye to the Lord - Roderic Dunnett was at the 2009 Hereford Three Choirs Festival
CD Spotlight. A Purposeful Vigour - Symphonies by Albéric Magnard impress Patric Standford. '... a notable symphonic architect.'
Ensemble. Full Rein - Sinfonia Viva at the Buxton Festival, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Sensuality and Freedom - Stokowski conducts Schubert and Dvorák, heard by Béla Hartmann. '... one is never left in any doubt as to the force of the conductor ...'
Ask Alice - On freelancers, swiping work and danger money, with classical music agony aunt Alice McVeigh
CD Spotlight. A Distinctive Voice - Music by Vincent d'Indy, recommended by Robert Anderson. 'The eloquent solo viola of Lawrence Power is crucial ...'
Ensemble. Tremendous Conviction - Mahler's Symphony No 2 in Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Meltingly Beautiful - Joshua Bell joins Vladimir Ashkenazy and the New World Symphony for music by Saint-Saëns and Mahler, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Record Box. Dazzling Works - Contemporary music from the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, recommended by Patric Standford
Record Box. An Unfolding Cycle - Gergiev conducts Mahler, heard by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Quirky Humour - Uri Caine meets Sinfonia Viva, and Mike Wheeler listens
Ensemble. Tremendous Energy - Mahler and Mozart in Nottingham, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Profile. Expressing the Universe - Gillian Wills talks to conductor Muhai Tang
CD Spotlight. Flawlessly Performed - Shostakovich's Symphony No 10, chosen by Howard Smith. '... the results are very special.'
Ensemble. Capturing the Essence - Mike Wheeler returns to the Buxton Festival to hear members of Sinfonia Viva
CD Spotlight. Quite Magical - Staatskapelle Berlin plays Mahler's Ninth [listen], recommended by Patric Standford. 'Barenboim and Mahler are fine partners.'
Ensemble. Simply Ravishing - Sakari Oramo and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra play Mahler, enjoyed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Tanglewood and Beyond - The sounds of summer in the Berkshires, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Baton Magician? - David Stahl in conversation with Tess Crebbin about Bernstein, Mahler and German-language opera
Record box. An appealing programme - Mahler, Schumann and Britten, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Giants? - Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's latest Provocative Thoughts
Record box. Power and pathos - Temirkanov conducts Mahler, reviewed by Alice McVeigh
Ensemble. A musical homecoming - New World Symphony alumni return to Miami Beach for a special concert, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. Important revivals - Hindemith and Mahler played by members of the New World Symphony, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
CD Spotlight. Interlinking resonances - A song recital by Malena Ernman, reviewed by Robert Hugill. '... lively and charmingly refreshing ...'
Ensemble. Visions and miracles - Scott Yoo conducts music by Shostakovich, Christopher Theofanidis and Schubert, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
European tour - A preview, of sorts, of the Cleveland Orchestra's four-city, three festival visit, by Kelly Ferjutz
Ensemble. Beyond perfection - Mahler's Resurrection Symphony: Levine's farewell concert in Munich, by Tess Crebbin
Ensemble. An evening full of Hampsongs - by Sissy von Kotzebue
Ensemble. Pas de posthorn - John Neumeier's choreography of Mahler's Third Symphony, reviewed by Sissy von Kotzebue
DVD Spotlight. Prophetic merit - Thomas Hampson sings Mahler's 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn', appreciated by Tess Crebbin. '... a stunning visual and auditory experience.'
DVD Spotlight. Life matters - The first of a three part series about Mahler's Third Symphony, exploring Jason Starr's film documentary
A map to our soul - Tess Crebbin explores the art of Thomas Hampson
Provocative thoughts, from Patric Standford - Sacrifice